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It doesn't have to take a long time to lose 10 pounds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that a maximum weight loss of two pounds per week is healthy, safe and maintainable in the long run 13. This means that you can reach your weight-loss goal in as little as five weeks. By making small and effective changes to your lifestyle, you can get the job done.
Keep Track of Calories
To reach your weight-loss goal, create a daily deficit of 1,000 calories through diet and exercise. Since there are 3,500 calories in one pound of fat, you'll lose two pounds in one week. Avoid losing weight faster than this, because this often requires drastic measures that can make you feel sluggish and sick, and are hard to maintain in the long run. Additionally, fast weight loss slows your metabolism and the weight you lose is often water and muscle tissue -- not fat.
Makeover Your Diet
You're in control of the calories you consume, and small dietary changes can have a big impact on your weight. Instead of eating candy, cookies, chips and fast foods, focus on low-calorie, nutritious foods, such as:
- whole grains
- low-fat dairy
- lean protein
Have occasional, small treats so you don't feel deprived. Cook your own meals because you can control the ingredients. Use smaller cups, glasses, bowls and plates -- this will help you drink and eat less and contribute to your caloric deficit.
Blast Those Calories
For optimal fast weight loss, the CDC recommends doing 300 minutes of moderate cardio per week. This can be anything from jogging and cycling to using an elliptical machine and participating in group sports. During the exercise you shouldn't be able to sing, but should be able to talk. To really boost your metabolism and to continue to burn fat after finishing your workout, incorporate high-intense interval training on three, nonconsecutive days. Boost your exercise intensity for one minute so you can't talk anymore, and then slow down to recover by maintaining a moderate pace for two minutes. Move back and forth between intensities for 15 minutes.
Lift Away the Pounds
A minimum of two days of strength training is recommended by the CDC to enjoy health benefits. Target all major muscle groups and do eight to 12 repetitions and two to three sets of each exercise. If you're cramped for time, consider a 15-minute, circuit-training session to maximize caloric burn during and after your workout. Set up several weightlifting stations and complete the exercises without resting in between sets. For variety, set up both cardio and strength-training stations and go from one to the other. A circuit workout is among the best ways to lose 10 pounds fast.
To really boost your metabolism and to continue to burn fat after finishing your workout, incorporate high-intense interval training on three, nonconsecutive days. For optimal fast weight loss, the CDC recommends doing 300 minutes of moderate cardio per week. To reach your weight-loss goal, create a daily deficit of 1,000 calories through diet and exercise.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Losing Weight: What Is Healthy Weight Loss?
- Helpguide.org: Healthy Weight Loss & Dieting Tips
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- The Women's Health Big Book of 15-Minute Workouts; Selene Yeager
- Shape.com: 7 Benefits of Circuit Training (and One Downside)
- Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images